My Time with the Nintendo Switch

Nintendo’s attempt to make a stunning platform, both console and handheld-hybrid was a quite impressive and bold move in today’s gaming industry.

I bought my Switch day one, without pre-ordering it, without any intention on buying one in the first place. I stood there in my place of employment, I said “I’m not going to buy one. I’m not going to buy one…” so I bought one. Complete impulse and hype of the moment, seeing customers flood in the doors to buy one.

Now that I’ve owned it for a little over a month, I’m ready to give my review.

Day one: I was so excited and hated myself for dropping almost $400 un-budgeted dollars on this thing, but there was a part of me that wondered if this was going the path of the Wii U. But, I unboxed it, set it all up, popped in my Breath of the Wild cartridge and let it do its thing.

The Joy-Cons: Unwrapping the controllers, and snapping them into the console for the first time was actually really satisfying. Then popping them out and putting them in the controller grip was also very satisfying, the noise was on par with some ASMR, like, unexplainable. It was very strange holding a controller that felt like a box, but I got used to it after about an hour. I didn’t realize initially how much technology Nintendo put into these little things– the red one having the home button and IR blaster, the blue having the capture button, each with their own motion control accelerometers, vibration motors, individual or synced pairing, and a plethora of other things, I was impressed from a technological aspect, however once complaints starting rolling in with connectivity issues, and button and joystick wear, I thought to myself “Oh no, I just bought the biggest blunder of 2017…” but, to this day, it’s been fine with no issues.

The System itself and the Dock: It was oddly small the first time I saw it out of the box, almost as big as some phones I’ve had it the past. I looked around the system, saw the nicely laser printed logos, and federal regulations, A KICKSTAND! and a decent machine for gaming, from a tablet perspective. Then I noticed a heat sink on the top, granted I knew this thing was going to probably heat up, but that worried me. “What if I’m taking it somewhere and it overheats because the vent is blocked? God forbid I keep that in sleep mode in my bag.” But I haven’t had any issue with that, either. Granted my thought process with it was a little extreme, but I consider all angles when I buy a new thing. But it was fun to slide down into the dock for the first time just like you saw in the commercials, that smooth decent into the dock, then they effortlessly took the Joy-Cons off the system while docked to play 1-2 Switch, that was not the case for me. I almost barbarically ripped the system out of the dock the first time I tried that. But I’ve changed my methods.

Performance: I was quite surprised at the Switches performance. Small, but pretty powerful. Granted it’s rocking a custom Nvidia chip, 8-core processor and 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, which after I read this, I fully understood the need for a vent. Booting up The Legend of Zelda for the first time made this evident that this machine was no slouch. Grass-filled plains, volcanic rock valleys, enemies, shrines, towers, enemies, a full desert region, ENEMIES EVERYWHERE, and the happy people of Goron, all in a seamless open-world to explore, I didn’t have too many issues in this department. It did have some FPS drops, but not as many as Just Cause 3 or any other game to that effect. So, all-in-all I was pretty satisfied with that.

Software: Okay, now this is where I find fault with the console, granted its only been out for a month, I wanted more launch titles than just Breath of the Wild. Now, you can’t always get what you want, but I found myself a little burnt out at the 23rd hour I spent in the game. The Nintendo E-Shop is a little lackluster, and the salvation of my time with the system is going to be Mario Kart 8: Deluxe Edition, for the time being. Although the Binding of Issac and Fast RMX seemed like good alternatives I didn’t really feel like investing in. I almost broke down to buy Lego City Undercover but couldn’t bring myself to do so. And when Nintendo said “Virtual Console” I was expecting more like GBC, N64, NES, SNES, GBA, and the like, but instead found myself looking at NEOGEO games with some disappointment. And as far as the system firmware goes, its snappy, simple, and easy to navigate with no complaints.

Overall, it’s too early for me to give a hard review on Nintendo’s newest system, but I’ve been mostly pleased up to this point. It’s only a matter of time before I’m playing it more than my Xbox or PS4, when more third-party development starts to kick in and I’ll be playing Skyrim in a remote location, even though I already bought the Special Edition for my Xbox One. Now, when they’re able to make the Witcher 3 portable, THAT is when my Switch will need to prepare itself for maximum use! I give the system my personal score of 7/10.

Thanks for reading! I will try to stay current and relevant on my articles and try to release them in a consistent manner. But until next time, Stay Golden and thank you for sticking with us on this journey into being a great gaming site!!

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard Review

resident-evil-7-house

The game strikes a perfect balance of being terrifying and gorgeous at the same time.

Author: Nathan

I start to panic as my character takes their good old time unlocking a hatch leading underground.  He is right behind me: Daddy is coming. I hear him curse at me as he swings a bloodied spade wildly towards my head.  I luck out.  The hatch opens and I drop down into the claustrophobic crawl space littered with cob webs and a rusted lawn mower (no idea how that got there).  My heart won’t stop pounding as I contemplate just staying put for a moment to catch my breath, cursing Daddy for scaring the living hell out of me.  I can hear the creak from his brooding footsteps above, and I know I can’t stay here forever.  I need to get out of there and find out what in the world is going on here.  This is just a taste of the heart-attack-inducing moments to come, and I loved every second of it!

Ethan decides to go looking for his long-lost girlfriend Mia after he receives a video of her begging him to stay away.  Reckless, and slightly naive, he nevertheless travels to the swamplands of Louisiana to investigate her disappearance.  Once you arrive, all is not as it seems.  The family living there, the Bakers, clearly have a few screws missing, as well as a pile of other body parts along the way.  You fight them, as well as another form of enemy along the way to saving Mia and yourself.  While the game is slightly linear most of the way through, I never felt quite safe from the denizens of darkness.  Besides the safe rooms located throughout the game, no place was comfortable or inviting, and I prefer my Resident Evil that way compared to the travesty that is Resident Evil 6.

Speaking of gut wrenching, please do not play this game if you have a weak stomach or are prone to heart attacks.  That is a serious warning.  This game made me jump off the couch AND scream at the top of my lungs in just the first hour.  The first half is terrifying, and the second half keeps the scares coming but does focus a little more on linear level design and first person shooting gameplay.  While some might have wanted a complete return to form to Resident Evil 1-3 (this game has a house that resembles the mansion in RE1 and even references to the greater Resident Evil universe that are subtle but brilliant), I adored the blend of scares and stealth mixed with tense moments of action.  Even when you are stripped of your inventory during a section of the game, it never feels like it overstays its welcome.  The weapons all have a place, and I never felt like a weapon wasn’t useful or didn’t feel awkward aiming.  The pace is nothing short of a masterpiece, so much so that I began a new playthrough immediately following the completion of the game.  It has its bloody hooks in me that deep.

Overall, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is both a return to horror and a breath of new life to this decades old franchise.  Some fans may not enjoy all aspects of it, and I respect that.  However, I couldn’t get enough of this entry and can’t wait to see what the future holds for Resident Evil if they continue down this gutsy path.

Final Score:  9/10  Excellent